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“Captain Of The USS Republican”: Raking In The Money, Ted Cruz Discovers The Fringe Benefits Of Failure

The recent political turmoil in Washington was multifaceted and involved quite a few personalities, motivations, and working parts. No one person was ultimately responsible for the entire nightmare.

But if we were to focus in on one main culprit, it’s safe to say Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) would lead the list of suspects. He spent the August recess demanding his party follow his shutdown plan; he offered leadership to House Republicans; the right-wing senator even made himself the public face of this fiasco with a 21-hour speech that served no legislative purpose, but made it easy for Ted Cruz to celebrate his fondness for Ted Cruz.

The freshman Republican became so notorious that when he campaigned for Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia a couple of weeks ago, the gubernatorial hopeful didn’t want any photographs taken of the two of them together.

But let’s not miss the forest for the trees. Cruz led his party into a ditch and drew the ire of Republicans who blame him for his misguided crusade, but the far-right Texan appears to still be in the midst of a long con.

If you were curious, talking on television for 21 straight hours is very lucrative. Over the last quarter, Ted Cruz’s still-young political action committee pulled in $797,000 during the period that included his extended C-SPAN advertorial. It’s nearly twice what Cruz pulled in the quarter prior. […]

His October report, which covers July 1 to September 30, notes that his PAC has $378,000 on-hand after the nearly $800,000 haul, money that will be used to support conservative candidates and issues close to Cruz’s heart.

Cruz isn’t making many friends among his Senate colleagues; he has no prospects for actually passing bills; and he’s cultivated a public reputation as a dangerous extremist. This may seem like a poor combination, but the senator clearly doesn’t see it that way.

While pushing his party over a cliff, Cruz has also positioned himself as a guy capable of winning straw polls, quickly raising a lot of money, and collecting a massive new database of conservative donors and activists – which may come in handy if a certain someone intends to launch a bid for national office in a couple of years.

Cruz’s party shut down the government and caused a debt-ceiling crisis for reasons that still don’t make any sense, leading to a surrender in which Republicans gained nothing. In fact, it was worse than nothing – the GOP has seen its support collapse, ending up with a deal that could have been better for the party had it been less ridiculous weeks ago.

But from Cruz’s perspective, these developments, while unfortunate, are a small price to pay for advancing his personal ambitions.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, October 17, 2013

October 19, 2013 Posted by | Government Shut Down, Senate, Ted Cruz | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Tea Party, Now And Forever?: That Cosmopolitan, Multiracial Man In The White House Is The Embodiment Of Everything They Fear

People (including me, I’ll admit) have been predicting the demise of the Tea Party for a long time, yet it has managed to stick around, the tail wagging the Republican dog even unto the point of shutting down the government and bringing the country within hours of default. Yet at the same time, if you paid attention to this crisis, you would have seen the words “Tea Party” escaping only the lips of Democrats (and a few reporters). None of the Republicans holding out to destroy the Affordable Care Act started their sentences with “We in the Tea Party…” It has become a name—or an epithet—more than a movement, even as its perspective and its style have woven themselves deeply within the GOP. Not that there aren’t still Tea Party organizations in existence, but how many Republican politicians in the coming months are going to be eager to show up at a rally where everyone’s wearing tricorner hats?

What this moment may mark is the not so much the death of the Tea Party as the final stages of a transition. The silly costumes will get put away, and the angry rallies may draw no more than a handful of fist-shakers. But we should finally understand that the Tea Party has metastasized itself within its host, even if fewer people use its name. It would probably help to come up with a new name for it, since the word “party” misdirects us into thinking that if it isn’t doing practical things like endorsing candidates or putting forward a policy agenda, then it’s fading. But it isn’t, and defeats like this one don’t necessarily make it weaker.

The time has come to stop looking at the Tea Party as a political movement and understand it as a psychological, sociological, and religious phenomenon. That isn’t to say it’s unalterable, and I do think it’s going to be politically wounded in 2014. What is likely to happen is a geographical winnowing, with its politicians losing where they were weakest to begin with. In 2010, many Tea Partiers got elected even in places where they weren’t thick on the ground, since that’s what wave elections can produce. But in the next election we’ll probably see the defeat of people like Maine governor Paul LePage—in other words, those who come from anywhere other than the South and certain corners of the Midwest and interior West. Tea Partiers will still win in Alabama, but not in New England.

The ones who remain will not be chastened by what just happened, nor when their numbers decrease. As there is after every Republican defeat, there’s talk now amongst the base about the need for more “true conservatives.” But if you look at the people who decided to end the crisis, they aren’t that different in their policy beliefs from the Tea Partiers. Mitch McConnell would genuinely like to repeal the ACA, and outlaw abortion, and slash food stamps. This isn’t even a dispute about tactics, because that would mean the Tea Partiers have some kind of coherent set of tactics in mind, beyond “Fight, fight, fight!” It’s about the apocalyptic worldview that animates the Tea Partiers. Establishment Republicans like McConnell have the same policy agenda as the Tea Partiers, but they also know that if they lose this round, there will be another round, and another after that. They don’t think that America could literally come to an end if they don’t prevail in the next election.

But the Tea Partiers do. In one recent poll, 20 percent of Republicans said they believe Barack Obama is the Antichrist. It’s easy to laugh, but try for a moment to imagine that you believed that. What kind of tactics would you favor? Would you be amenable to compromise? How would you look at even a small political defeat? As Andrew Sullivan argues, even for those who are a step back from imagining a literal apocalypse coming some time in the next few months, the root of the problem is modernity itself, and the stakes are impossibly high:

What the understandably beleaguered citizens of this new modern order want is a pristine variety of America that feels like the one they grew up in. They want truths that ring without any timbre of doubt. They want root-and-branch reform – to the days of the American Revolution. And they want all of this as a pre-packaged ideology, preferably aligned with re-written American history, and reiterated as a theater of comfort and nostalgia. They want their presidents white and their budget balanced now. That balancing it now would tip the whole world into a second depression sounds like elite cant to them; that America is, as a matter of fact, a coffee-colored country – and stronger for it – does not remove their desire for it not to be so; indeed it intensifies their futile effort to stop immigration reform. And given the apocalyptic nature of their view of what is going on, it is only natural that they would seek a totalist, radical, revolutionary halt to all of it, even if it creates economic chaos, even if it destroys millions of jobs, even though it keeps millions in immigration limbo, even if it means an unprecedented default on the debt.

It isn’t just that they sincerely believe that the most uncompromising tactics are the path to victory, it’s also that they believe that adopting anything short of the most uncompromising stance is itself a surrender, before the battle has even begun. You can’t let the devil just sit in the parlor for a while and hope you’ll be able to convince him to leave. You have to bar the door. And as Ed Kilgore notes, this isn’t just about very religious people bringing a religious worldview to their politics; it’s a circular process:

It’s not just that these culturally threatened folk embrace their politics like it’s a religion. The actual religious outlook many of them espouse—whether they are conservative fundamentalist Protestants or neo-ultramontane Catholics—has imported secular political perspectives into their faith. They’ve managed to identify obedience to God with the restoration of pre-mid-twentieth-century culture and economics, and consequently, tend to look at themselves as the contemporary equivalents of the Old Testament prophets calling a wicked society to account before all hell literally breaks loose. So their politics reinforces their religion and vice-versa, and yes, the Republican Party, like the squishy mainline Protestant Churches and lenient do-gooder Catholic priests, are generally within crisis-distance of being viewed as objectively belonging to enemy ranks.

It’s true that this phenomenon is the latest iteration of a pattern we’ve seen before, whether it was the Birchers during the Johnson years or the militia movement under Clinton. Some portion of American conservatives comes to believe that the country has been infected with the most diabolical of viruses, and the normal democratic means are no longer sufficient to confront the evil within our borders. But by now we have to conclude that it’s been worse this time, and not only because the Tea Party’s forebears never got a fraction of the influence within the GOP that it now has. The threat of modernity that Sullivan points to is, for these people, all too real. The world is leaving them behind. And that cosmopolitan, multiracial man in the White House became the embodiment of everything they fear. Every one of his policies, whether born in The Communist Manifesto or at the Heritage Foundation, they see clearly as a rapier thrust at their very hearts. There is no telling them to wait for a more opportune moment to strike, or that the battle of the moment is one they cannot win. To lose is to lose everything.

So when does the Tea Party end? In the simplest terms, it ends whenever the next Republican president takes office. When that happens, there will be no more government shutdowns, no more cries of Washington tyranny, no more debt ceiling standoffs, no more Republican obsession with deficits. The tricorner hats will be put away. But the fears and resentments that created and sustained the Tea Party will fester, waiting until the next Democratic presidency to burst out. And it will begin all over again.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Contributing Editor, The American Prospect, October 18, 2013

October 19, 2013 Posted by | GOP, Racism, Tea Party | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Two Tiered Discrimination”: Separate And Unequal Voting In Arizona And Kansas Are About Nullification And Voter Suppression

In its 2013 decision in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Arizona’s proof of citizenship law for voter registration violated the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

In 2004, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, a stringent anti-immigration law that included provisions requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked the proof of citizenship requirement, which it said violated the NVRA. Under the 1993 act, which drastically expanded voter access by allowing registration at public facilities like the DMV, those using a federal form to register to vote must affirm, under penalty of perjury, that they are US citizens. Twenty-eight million people used that federal form to register to vote in 2008. Arizona’s law, the court concluded, violated the NVRA by requiring additional documentation, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport or tribal forms. According to a 2006 study by the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 7 percent of eligible voters “do not have ready access to the documents needed to prove citizenship.” The Supreme Court affirmed the lower court ruling, finding that states like Arizona could not reject applicants who registered using the NVRA form.

Now Arizona and Kansas—which passed a similar proof-of-citizenship law in 2011—are arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision applies only to federal elections and that those who register using the federal form cannot vote in state and local elections. The two states have sued the Election Assistance Commission and are setting up a two-tiered system of voter registration, which could disenfranchise thousands of voters and infringe on state and federal law.

The tactics of Arizona and Kansas recall the days of segregation and the Supreme Court’s 1896 “separate but equal” ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. “These dual registration systems have a really ugly racial history,” says Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “They were set up after Reconstruction alongside poll taxes, literacy tests and all the other devices that were used to disenfranchise African-American voters.”

In the Jim Crow South, citizens often had to register multiple times, with different clerks, to be able to vote in state and federal elections. It was hard enough to register once in states like Mississippi, where only 6.7 percent of African-Americans were registered to vote before the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And when the federal courts struck down a literacy test or a poll tax before 1965, states like Mississippi still retained them for state and local elections, thereby preventing African-American voters from replacing those officials most responsible for upholding voter disenfranchisement laws.

The Voting Rights Act ended this dichotomy between federal and state elections by prohibiting racial discrimination in voting in all elections. Section 5 of the Act, which the Supreme Court eviscerated earlier this year in Shelby County v. Holder, prevented states with the worst history of voting discrimination—like Mississippi—from instituting new disenfranchisement schemes. It was Section 5 that blocked Mississippi from implementing a two-tiered system of voter registration following the passage of the NVRA in 1993, which the state claimed applied only to federal elections. (A similar plan was stopped in Illinois under state court.) Arizona—another state previously subject to Section 5 based on a long history of discrimination against Hispanic voters and other language minority groups—is making virtually the same rejected argument as Mississippi in the 1990s, but, thanks to the Roberts Court, no longer has to seek federal approval to make the voting change. The revival of the dual registration scheme is yet another reason why Congress should revive Section 5.

The proposed two-tiered system of voting and the harmfulness of proof-of-citizenship laws warrant legal scrutiny. Over 30,000 voters were prevented from registering in Arizona after its proof-of-citizenship law passed in 2004. In Kansas, 17,000 voters have been blocked from registering this year, a third of all registration applicants, because the DMV doesn’t transfer citizenship documents to election officials. The ACLU has vowed to sue Kansas if the state continues its noncompliance with state and federal law.

Proof-of-citizenship laws and the new two-tiered voting scheme are the brainchild of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has done more than just about anyone to stir up fears about the manufactured threat of voter fraud. As the author of Arizona’s “papers please” immigration law and Mitt Romney’s nonsensical “self deportation” immigration plan, he’s fused anti-immigrant hysteria with voter-fraud paranoia. Kobach helped the American Legislative Exchange Council draft model legislation for proof of citizenship laws based on Arizona’s bill, which were adopted in three states—Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee—following the 2010 election.

To justify his state’s new voting restrictions (Kansas also has a strict voter ID law), Kobach told The Huffington Post, “We identified 15 aliens registered to vote,” but he seems unconcerned that 17,000 eligible Kansans have been prevented from registering. Moreover, there’s no evidence these fifteen alleged non-citizens actually voted—just as there’s no evidence that dead people are voting in Kansas, another erroneous claim from Kobach. As Brad Friedman noted, Kansas City Star columnist Yael Abouhalkah wrote last year that Kobach “has a way of lying” about the threat of voter fraud.

Kobach claimed in 2011 that sixty-seven non-citizens had illegally registered, out of 1.7 million on the state’s voter rolls, but he “was unable to identify a single instance of a non-citizen illegally casting a vote, or any successful prosecution for voter fraud in the state,” according to the Brennan Center. As I’ve asked before, why would a non-citizen, who presumably is in the United States to work, risk deportation and imprisonment in order to cast a ballot? Kobach once suggested in a radio interview that perhaps their coyote was paying them to vote, which defies all logic.

There’s also no evidence that using the NVRA’s federal form to register leads to higher incidents of voter fraud. “Nobody has ever been prosecuted for using the federal form to register to vote as a non-citizen,” Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, told me earlier this year.

In reality, the two-tiered system of registration being set up in Arizona and Kansas has less to do with stopping voter registration fraud, which as shown is a very rare problem in both states, and more to do with “nullifying” federal laws that Republicans don’t like, such as Obamacare. There’s symmetry between shutting down the government and creating separate and unequal systems of voter registration. It’s a strategy that dates back to Jim Crow, when fierce segregationists like John Calhoun of South Carolina tried to prevent the federal government from taxing the Confederacy and Southern Democrats instituted a policy of “massive resistance” to the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling desegregating public schools.

Wrote Sam Tanenhaus in “Why Republicans Are The Party of White People”:

When the intellectual authors of the modern right created its doctrines in the 1950s, they drew on nineteenth-century political thought, borrowing explicitly from the great apologists for slavery, above all, the intellectually fierce South Carolinian John C. Calhoun. This is not to say conservatives today share Calhoun’s ideas about race. It is to say instead that the Calhoun revival, based on his complex theories of constitutional democracy, became the justification for conservative politicians to resist, ignore, or even overturn the will of the electoral majority.

The Confederates and Dixiecrats of yesteryear are the Republicans of today.

 

By: Ari Berman, The Nation, October 15, 2013

October 19, 2013 Posted by | Voting Rights, Voting Rights Act | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Your Job Isn’t Safe Until Extremist’s Lose Theirs”: Tea Party Extremism Cost Millions Of Jobs And Risks Millions More

If Americans learn anything from this month’s shutdown-and-debt-ceiling debacle, they ought to realize that political extremism brings real costs—denominated in dollars and jobs as well as national cohesion and prestige—and that those costs are not small. So long as the Tea Party faction continues to wield its malign influence over the Republican leadership in Congress, the threat of further, even worse damage will not subside.

Everyone should heed the clear warning issued by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), his cohort on Capitol Hill, and the leaders of outfits such as the Tea Party Express and FreedomWorks, all enraged and determined to lash out again as soon as possible. “This was going to be a multi-stage, extended battle,” said Cruz, “but we’ve also seen a model that I think is the model going forward to defeat Obamacare, to bring back jobs, economic growth…”

Only a dwindling fraction of voters is still mesmerized by such demagogic nonsense, but their anger intimidates enough Republicans to ensure that Cruz and company can seek to sabotage the economy again—and they will. So it is vital for everyone to understand what these vandals have inflicted on us already.

We will probably not know the full cost of the shutdown and the near-default for several months, if ever, but fresh estimates are now arriving daily. According to Standard & Poor’s, the financial ratings agency, the shutdown alone reduced economic activity in the United States by at least $24 billion and cut growth in the current quarter by as much as 0.6 percent. That means a loss of thousands of jobs and billions in household income, just when the economy would traditionally surge upward for the holiday season.

But that is just the beginning of a much grimmer inventory of suffering, which can be traced back more than two years to the first episode of Tea Party debt-ceiling bluster. For that assessment, we can look to none other than the Peter G. Peterson Foundation—named for its creator, a former Republican Commerce Secretary and fanatical fiscal hawk—whose latest contribution to public discourse is a thorough study, with charts, of “the cost of crisis-driven fiscal policy.” Peterson’s full study is worth reading, but its essential points are simple enough.

The repeated manufacturing of partisan fiscal crises has created sufficient uncertainty to reduce growth since 2009 by as much as 0.3 percentage points annually—eliminating as many as 900,000 potential jobs.

Now add on the wrong-headed cuts in federal discretionary spending caused by budget sequestration—the awful “solution” to the 2011 debt crisis. That reduced annual growth by 0.7 points since 2010 and raised unemployment by almost a full percentage point, or 1.2 million lost jobs.

Finally, the report examines two possible economic scenarios that could follow a Treasury default: a “brief” recessionary interlude that would see unemployment jump to 8.5 percent, costing 2.5 million jobs, and a longer, deeper, more volatile recession in which joblessness would rise to 8.9 percent and more than three million jobs would be lost.

Just as disturbing as all this sad waste of human potential is the incredible pettiness of the goals pursued by the Republican leadership. Their ultimate, most pathetic demand was to deny health insurance to their own aides.

So when Ted Cruz and the Tea Party tell you their holy crusade against health care will “bring back jobs,” assume the opposite (and act accordingly). There is no bipartisan compromise on offer here— only more of the same ruinous obstruction, and worse.

Your job won’t be secure until they lose theirs.

 

By: Joe Conason, The National Memo, October 18, 2013

October 19, 2013 Posted by | Jobs, Republicans, Tea Party | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“When Will Republicans Learn?”: Jim DeMInt And The Heritage Foundation Simply Do Not Have Their Best Interests At Heart

After congressional Republicans’ total surrender finally ended the government shutdown that they caused, and removed the country from the brink of a calamitous debt default, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) joined MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown on Thursday morning to break down the costly political defeat.

In Hatch’s estimation, the Heritage Foundation and its political arm, Heritage Action for America, deserve a good portion of the blame.

“Heritage used to be the conservative organization helping Republicans and helping conservatives and helping us to be able to have the best intellectual conservative ideas,” the seven-term senator explained. “There’s a real question on the minds of many Republicans now…is Heritage going to go so political that it doesn’t amount to anything anymore?”

“Right now I think it’s in danger of losing its clout and its power around Washington, D.C.,” Hatch added.

If Republicans are smart, they should be doing everything possible to make sure that Hatch is proven correct. Arguably no single force has been more destructive to the Republican Party since the 2012 election than Heritage.

After President Barack Obama routed Mitt Romney among Latino voters by an overwhelming 71 to 27 percent margin last November, many Republicans — including the Republican National Committee — accurately diagnosed the GOP’s performance among the rapidly growing demographic as a huge impediment to winning national elections in the future. Most focused on comprehensive immigration reform as the best solution to the problem. And while fixing the broken immigration system would not be the cure-all that many Republicans hope, there’s no question that a sincere effort to solve the crisis would go a long way toward erasing Latino voters’ memories of “self-deportation.”

Ignoring that logic, Heritage stepped in to stop congressional Republicans from helping the nation — and themselves.

As debate over a comprehensive immigration reform bill heated up in Congress, the Heritage Foundation released a report claiming that the bill would cost a minimum of $6.3 trillion over the lifetimes of the 11 million immigrants who could gain legal status as a result. The report utilized a deeply flawed methodology — even many Republicans scoffed at its shoddy accounting — and quickly turned into a public relations nightmare once it was revealed that one of the authors admitted that he hadn’t even read the bill in question, and the other had posted inflammatory articles about Latinos’ inferior intelligence to a “white nationalist” website. In other words, Heritage managed to neatly personify the ignorant bigotry from which the Republican Party was desperately trying to distance itself.

Heritage Action would go on to strongly warn Republicans against passing any serious immigration reforms. And although they were unable to prevent the comprehensive bill’s passage in the Senate — with the support of 14 Republicans — it kept up the pressure on the House of Representatives, which is full of more conservative members with more reason to fear challenges from the right (due to their two-year terms and extremely conservative districts).

Heritage’s efforts have been successful so far; almost four months after the Senate passed the immigration bill, it appears to be dead in the water in the House. Meanwhile, 75 percent of Latinos now disapprove of congressional Republicans. Additionally, by encouraging the right to rise up against immigration reform, Heritage may have dealt a fatal blow to Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) chances of navigating the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, potentially removing a top-tier presidential candidate from the board.

Heritage also damaged the GOP by politicizing the farm bill. Usually the legislation, which contains both subsidies for farmers and food aid for working Americans, is one of few initiatives to gain bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. This year, however, Heritage Action demanded that the bill be split into two sections: a “farm-only bill” containing the agricultural subsidies, and a separate bill dealing with food aid — and mandating sharp cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (more commonly known as food stamps).

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) put forth an amendment to split the farm bill, as Heritage Action proposed, but it failed to pass. Heritage Action then “keyed” a no vote on the bill, leading 62 House Republicans to oppose it — enough to prevent its passage, due to the opposition of Democrats who were appalled by its harsh cuts to food aid.

The bill’s failure was a tremendous black eye for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and clearly established that he was at the mercy of the right wing of his caucus — a condition that helped lead him into the disastrous shutdown and debt ceiling standoff.

Two weeks later, the House would pass a split bill without any funding for food stamp and nutrition programs — reinforcing the party’s damaging image as a group that does not care about the struggles of everyday Americans. And for their trouble, Heritage Action slammed those Republicans who voted for the bill that it had supported just weeks earlier, now claiming that the legislation “would make permanent farm policies—like the sugar program—that harm consumers and taxpayers alike.”

Heritage Action’s reversal infuriated many Republicans, and even led the influential House Republican Study Committee to ban the group from its meetings. But it ultimately did very little to reduce Heritage’s reach within the party, as the government shutdown would show.

As Time‘s Zeke Miller has reported, nobody did more to cause the shutdown than Heritage Action. Although Republican leadership had hoped to avoid another politically disastrous budget battle, they did not anticipate the right’s commitment to battling over the law — a fervor that was whipped up by Heritage. Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham took a nine-city bus tour with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), demanding that conservatives stand up against Obamacare, whatever the costs. The group spent $550,000 on a digital advertising campaign criticizing Republican congressmembers for perceived weakness on the issue. It keyed votes against any government funding bill that wouldn’t dismantle health care reform. It aggressively used social media to promote Senator Cruz’s 21-hour non-filibuster against the Affordable Care Act. And it assured Republicans that provoking a crisis over the law would not cripple them politically.

As we now know, that was not the case. The shutdown totally failed to stop the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, but it did send the GOP’s poll numbers into a freefall, and seriously jeopardize the party’s once-bulletproof House majority. And once again, for their troubles, right-wing Republicans who followed Heritage into battle got stabbed in the back almost immediately.

“Everybody understands that we’ll not be able to repeal [Obamacare] until 2017,” Needham said during a Fox News appearance on Wednesday. Apparently “everybody” didn’t include dozens of House Republicans, or Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint. Just as with the farm bill, Heritage led Republicans further and further to the right — then turned on them as soon as it became convenient.

There’s no reason to believe that Heritage will change its pattern any time soon — as long as there is money to be raised from the far right, Heritage has no incentive to stop pressuring Republican politicians to take more extreme positions. Quite simply, that is their business model. It also seems very unlikely that Speaker Boehner will change his pattern of allowing the far right to pressure him into supporting Tea Party-backed plans in exchange for letting him keep the Speaker’s gavel.

Perhaps the business community — which is well represented on the Heritage Foundation’s board of trustees — will attempt to moderate the group’s political activities, in an effort to counteract their disastrous economic effects. Or perhaps Republican voters will finally run out of patience for Heritage’s preferred brand of governing by self-created crisis.

If not, the Republican Party is in trouble, because the evidence is clear: Heritage simply does not have its best interests at heart.

By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, October 18, 2013

October 19, 2013 Posted by | GOP, Heritage Foundation, Republicans | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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